December 2017 

Chicago: Anderson and Lalmalani Successfully Defend Hospital Against $33M Negligence Claim

In December 2017, HPS attorneys Michele Anderson and Sapna Lalmalani won a defense verdict for a Chicago-area hospital. Plaintiffs alleged that three internal medicine physicians failed to order a cardiology consult, failed to adequately communicate regarding the patient, and negligently discharged the patient in 2012, resulting in a cardiac arrest the day after discharge, anoxic brain injury, and death four years later.  The hospital was alleged to be the apparent principal for two of the physicians.  The defense argued that the physicians appropriately managed the patient, that the patient did not have cardiac symptoms to warrant further work up or hospitalization, and that the cardiac arrest was unrelated to the care at issue and unforeseeable.  The hospital also argued that the two physicians were not apparent agents of the hospital, and the court granted directed verdict on apparent agency at the close of the evidence for one of those physicians.  At the end of a five-week trial, Plaintiffs sought nearly $33,000,000 in damages for their claims of Survival and Wrongful Death. The jury deliberated for approximately an hour and a half, agreed with the defense, and returned a “not guilty” verdict in favor of all defendants.